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Only a twin from a shark calling family can appease the ancestors and bring a community back together in this powerful and haunting story.

Isabel is on a plane heading back to her island birthplace in Papua New Guinea. Izzy is looking forward to seeing her family again, but there’s another tragic reason for the trip. Izzy’s twin brother, Ray, died in a freak diving accident, and Izzy and her mum are taking his ashes home for traditional death ceremonies.

After they arrive, Izzy realises things have changed since their last visit. Logging threatens the community’s way of life and sharks no longer answer the song of the shark callers.

Izzy’s cousin Noah explains that the clan needs someone to undertake a traditional diving ritual. The person must be a twin from the shark calling lineage. The dive will be perilous.

And Izzy is the last twin.

Will she have the courage to attempt the dive? And what deep, dark secrets will the ocean reveal if she does?


The Shark Caller breaks new ground in junior YA fiction. Dianne Wolfer blends a mystical tale about legends and traditions in Papua New Guinea with issues such as saving a coral reef . . . The underwater scenes are a highlight of the novel, with myriad nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, anglerfish and cuttlefish showcasing the abundant sea-life. These scenes also reveal the effects of chemical runoff from logging, which contaminate the water and destroy the coral. These issues of conservation and identity, as told from Izzy’s dual-cultural perspective, with a scattering of creole Tok Pisin words, will intrigue readers aged 11 and up.

Joy Lawn, Bookseller + Publisher

This is a book that deals with a lot of different situations and relationships. Death, separation, grief, courage, friendship, responsibility and danger; set against the impacts of logging in a part of the world reliant on keeping the balance of nature intact. Every element of The Shark Caller works together to stress the complexity of the relationships between the protagonist and those around her, the rituals and beliefs of the local people and the natural environment . . . The Shark Caller is an adventurous undertaking. Wolfer does not shy away from confronting the emotional and physical roller-coaster of life for this early-teen.

Jennifer Mors, CBCA Reading Time

Dianne Wolfer’s love of the sea and its creatures is evident in her novel Shark Caller. Set in the fictional Finsch Island in Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland Province, Shark Caller combines traditional stories and modern environmental concerns with a fictional family drama. . . The Shark Caller is imaginative and fantastical and full of drama. Phrases of Tok Pisin (a creole language of PNG) are scattered throughout, giving the reader a sense of immersion in the culture and traditions of the island. A glossary is included to help with interpretation. Recommended for middle-school students.

Jane Smith, Magpies

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    August 1, 2016

    Random House Australia Children's

    256 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    August 1, 2016

    RHA eBooks Child

    256 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • iBooks
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Dianne Wolfer

Light Horse Boy
Lighthouse Girl
Photographs In The Mud